Whether you’re looking to save a few bucks in the long run by investing in items needed to create your own recording studio, are willing to splurge on production costs to increase the quality of your podcast, or are a budding sound engineer looking to set up a small studio recording business, this article details The Top 5 Requirements for a Professional Recording Studio.
- Studio Furniture
- A Decent Computer
- Condenser Microphones
- Studio Monitor
1. Studio Furniture
It’s time to stop using the old kitchen table and dining chairs you never use for dinnertime as a workstation! The benefits of investing in a dedicated studio work table and chair include:
- A clean, workable desk space
- Modular furniture that can store and support computers and other pieces of sound engineering hardware
- A chair you can feel comfortable sitting in for hours while you do work
It’s best to buy a swivel chair with wheels, so you have 360° access to your workspace (depending on how wide your table will be) and at the same time, not have to worry about getting up every few minutes to grab something from across your office.
In addition, it’s also good to purchase bass traps and acoustic panels. They make all the difference in terms of sound quality and muffling any unnecessary background noise.
2. A Decent Computer
“Decent” can very easily fall into the gray subjective area of description, so let’s define it a little further. A decent computer for a recording studio will typically contain the following specs:
- An SSD (Solid State Drive) with at least 1 TB worth of storage space
- An i7 processor (i5 is good enough, but make sure it’s the latest generation)
- 8GB worth of RAM (16 GB and 32 GB are preferred, but not necessary)
- An Nvidia GTX or AMD Radeon RX graphics card
While you aren’t necessarily gearing up for gaming, the programs that you will run to handle all your recording needs may require hefty systems to handle them, so make sure your computer is up to snuff. Additionally, if you plan on recording a lot of content, you may want to invest in high capacity external hard drives.
Conventional desktops are a good choice if you’re looking to continuously upgrade and update your rig, while high-powered gaming laptops can do the job just fine. Expect the price point at under US$1,000 for a decent, brand new desktop or laptop.
You may also want to read Best Free Music Recording Software for Beginners
3. Condenser Microphones
This should come as no surprise on this list. Depending on what your setup will look like, you may find it more cost-effective or convenient to buy one or multiple condenser mics. The following condenser mics are a few considerations to look into if you’re on a budget:
- Behringer B-1 Large Diaphragm
- Audio-Technica AT2020
- Neewer NW-800
While the following mics are considerations for sound engineers willing to splurge a little more on better hardware:
- Rode NTK
- Neumann TLM 102 MT
- AKG C214
Condenser mics are the mics of choice for recording studios as they are rugged and are capable of a wide dynamic acoustic range. They range from as low as US$40 to as much as US$600. Don’t be afraid to splurge on this!
You can read more about recording studio microphones on 3 Types of Microphones for Your Recording Studio
This piece of studio kit has a variety of uses in a sound recording workspace, but mainly is used to prevent bleed through of any kind of audio that isn’t meant to be recorded. Here are some good choices for individuals on a budget:
- LyxPro HAS 10
- Koss UR20
- AKG K72
While these are some headphone models for individuals who really need it:
- Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
- Sony MDR-7506
- Shure SRH 1540
Do some research before buying headphones, as they come in a variety of different types, with some models excelling in certain audio departments, depending on what sort of application you plan on using them for.
5. Studio Monitor
Studio monitors are key instruments for sound personnel who are looking for audio accuracy and fine-tuning. They look like normal PA speakers, but are specifically manufactured to produce “flat frequencies” so the audio quality is about as smooth and unadulterated as you can get. Here are some choices for decent studio monitors:
- Yamaha HS8
- Dynaudio BM5 Mk. III
- Neumann KH 120
While there are many more models and brands of various price points, the maximum amount you should strive to stay under, is US$2,000 for a decent studio monitor outfit.
It should also be noted that there are some headphone models that double, or completely function, as studio monitors, so do your research.
While each and every professional studio has their own arsenal and use, you need to figure out what your studio will cater to. Do your research! Choose your kit wisely, or you may end up wasting thousands of dollars on incompatible or ill-fitting equipment.